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Thread: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

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    Moderator Dana's Avatar
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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by proppastie View Post
    Can I use a homemade or out of date whole airplane parachute in an "Experimental" aircraft or part 103 aircraft. The para-motor are not a certified chute. What is the realistic life of a re-pack, why do we have to re-pack a chute?
    A paraglider isn't a chute at all; it's a ram-air wing that happens to resemble a parachute, but it's not designed for emergency use and in fact couldn't be deployed like a parachute. But even the reserve parachutes carried by many paraglider and hang glider pilots aren't certified anyway, so though the manufacturer may recommend a repack interval (and most pilots comply) there's no legal requirement. But that's Part 103.

    For any aircraft with numbers on it:
    91.307 Parachutes and parachuting.

    (a) No pilot of a civil aircraft may allow a parachute that is available for emergency use to be carried in that aircraft unless it is an approved type and has been packed by a certificated and appropriately rated parachute rigger -

    (1) Within the preceding 180 days, if its canopy, shrouds, and harness are composed exclusively of nylon, rayon, or other similar synthetic fiber or materials that are substantially resistant to damage from mold, mildew, or other fungi and other rotting agents propagated in a moist environment; or

    (2) Within the preceding 60 days, if any part of the parachute is composed of silk, pongee, or other natural fiber or materials not specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.
    "carried in" seems to imply personal parachutes; is a BRS "carried in" the aircraft? Or is a BRS an "approved type"?

    Dana
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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    It would like flying an engine over TBO. One hour after TBO, it is not bad. Same with the chute, but now you are on your own. Farther away from the date, the more it is a guess it will work. I would never let someone use an out of date chute, it would have to be a me only thing. http://www.bowersflybaby.com/safety/hinton.htm and http://www.biplaneforum.com/showthread.php?t=14503 are good stories if you want to flip flop on a parachute. I dont think a chute is needed for every airplane all the time, but during the testing phase on something that is truly Experimental, like one owns design, I would have a fresh one ready for a good number of hours.

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Dana View Post
    "carried in" seems to imply personal parachutes; is a BRS "carried in" the aircraft? Or is a BRS an "approved type"?
    Since Cirrus aircraft are subject to 91.307 and their chutes are not repacked as required in 91.307, I'd argue that your inference that this only applies to "personal parachutes" is correct. "Carried in the aircraft" and "approved type" are not mutually exclusive - in fact, a personal chute can't be "carried in that aircraft" unless it is "an approved type".

    In any case, EAB aircraft are not subject to part 23, and although they are subject to part 91, 91.307 seems to be the only regulation that applies to parachutes of any type, and I couldn't find any FAR regarding CAP's.

    I've worked with BRS (I do the engineering, someone else does the installation, BRS supplies the chute and accessories as well as the load cases) on the install of three CAP's in canard type EAB aircraft - a Berkut (flying), a COZY MKIV (flying) and a Long-EZ (still in the build stage, AFAIK). They have no issue selling into the EAB market, clearly, and we can do whatever we want with our planes in this regard.

    I'm pretty sure that it's legal to fabricate a CAP out of old bedsheets and bungee cords, if one wanted, or to use your dad's parachute from his B-17 days, or a BRS you found lying on the side of the road with only one deployment on it. I don't recommend it, however, and I tell my customers that if they're going to spend a crapload of $$$ purchasing the chute, my engineering, and someone else's labor to install it, they better pay attention to what BRS says they ought to do about maintenance. These things are NOT cheap, and you want them to work when you pull the handle :-).

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    Registered User proppastie's Avatar
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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Zeitlin View Post
    Since Cirrus aircraft are subject to 91.307 and their chutes are not repacked as required in 91.307, I'd argue that your inference that this only applies to "personal parachutes" is correct. "Carried in the aircraft" and "approved type" are not mutually exclusive - in fact, a personal chute can't be "carried in that aircraft" unless it is "an approved type".

    In any case, EAB aircraft are not subject to part 23, and although they are subject to part 91, 91.307 seems to be the only regulation that applies to parachutes of any type, and I couldn't find any FAR regarding CAP's.

    I've worked with BRS (I do the engineering, someone else does the installation, BRS supplies the chute and accessories as well as the load cases) on the install of three CAP's in canard type EAB aircraft - a Berkut (flying), a COZY MKIV (flying) and a Long-EZ (still in the build stage, AFAIK). They have no issue selling into the EAB market, clearly, and we can do whatever we want with our planes in this regard.

    I'm pretty sure that it's legal to fabricate a CAP out of old bedsheets and bungee cords, if one wanted, or to use your dad's parachute from his B-17 days, or a BRS you found lying on the side of the road with only one deployment on it. I don't recommend it, however, and I tell my customers that if they're going to spend a crapload of $$$ purchasing the chute, my engineering, and someone else's labor to install it, they better pay attention to what BRS says they ought to do about maintenance. These things are NOT cheap, and you want them to work when you pull the handle :-).
    Why is the the Cirrus chute 10 year re-pack and the UL chute 6 years? Do they skimp on the fabric or use special different fabric one or the other?

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    Why the different times is probably driven by economics. Being certified, they pushed and proved the life to the FAA. Cirrus wants to keep the repack as long as possible as it is $$$, being certified as part of the airframe. Its like $15,000 to have it repacked; they cut a hole in the top deck and have to put in a new hatch in the fuselage. The airplane is not "airworthy" without the chute being done It also has to be done by a certified Cirrus mechanic or shop. I have done plenty of annuals on Cirrus but I cant do the parachute maintenance; Im not certified Cirrus. It is also a little scary to know if it gets set off standing next to the plane, you get incinerated. Why Experimental BRS are shorter? BRS probably does not want their personal neck stuck out any farther.

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by proppastie View Post
    Why is the the Cirrus chute 10 year re-pack and the UL chute 6 years? Do they skimp on the fabric or use special different fabric one or the other?
    No. It's just judgement & design decisions. The Cirrus is in a different storage environment than a Trike. Just because the 'chute is enclosed by structure.

    As to the OP... Yes, you can use an old chute. If you don't have it repacked and inspected it may not come out of the container or it may come out in a lump of not quite solid Nylon.

    We used to do repack meetings for hang glider chutes. ( hand deploy, not ballistic or rocket ) Hang a control bar & pilot in harness clear of the ground and have him practice deployment.

    See if he remembers how. Which handle to pull. Ideally you throw the bag with the canopy away ( horizontally in the test ) very hard and the lines all stretch out nicely and the canopy flutters to the ground stretched out and billowy.

    Sometimes you see this wad hit the end of the lines, stop dead, and thud to the ground. That one needed a repack.

    See if the rubber bands have fused the canopy shut. Does it deploy as designed? Inspect & repack.

    If there's another way than test deployment ( meaning you have to repack ) to see if it's good, I don't know. I know a rigger can just peek and tell you it's bad, but I don't know what psychic power tells you it's fine.

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    Well, as you guys are well versed in such things, I'd like to toss something out here. I live not too far from Ft. Bragg. A friend who is a Master Sergeant there told me that he had several parachutes...but freight chutes. He has chucked lots of gear out the back of airplanes for many years, and told me that these were mostly for 1 ton pallets. The chutes are being surplussed and he can get me one or two....am I an idiot to consider such a canopy for a ballistic chute? There is an experienced rigger near me that can repack for a charge, and I can probably get one that has just been repacked. Comments, laughs or catcalls? As for a cannister, I am thinking about a PVC pipe section as I can get them up to 20" diameter.

    This is one of those "Hmmm" moments I get when I see something like that available. I would imagine that the prototypes and early trial ballistic chutes may actually have been such canopies.

    OK, armour on, awaiting comments!

    Derswede

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    I guess my thoughts are its the same basic design or not, the same materials or not. I do understand the economics and liability, but I do not know the engineering, testing, data, design and all that goes into re-pack times. If the accounting or legal department set the re-pack time, as an engineer I would have reason to suspect it.

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Derswede View Post
    Well, as you guys are well versed in such things, I'd like to toss something out here. I live not too far from Ft. Bragg. A friend who is a Master Sergeant there told me that he had several parachutes...but freight chutes. He has chucked lots of gear out the back of airplanes for many years, and told me that these were mostly for 1 ton pallets. The chutes are being surplussed and he can get me one or two....am I an idiot to consider such a canopy for a ballistic chute? There is an experienced rigger near me that can repack for a charge, and I can probably get one that has just been repacked. Comments, laughs or catcalls? As for a cannister, I am thinking about a PVC pipe section as I can get them up to 20" diameter.

    This is one of those "Hmmm" moments I get when I see something like that available. I would imagine that the prototypes and early trial ballistic chutes may actually have been such canopies.

    OK, armour on, awaiting comments!

    Derswede
    I had thoughts of strapping a back-pack to the top of a bird and use the existing rip cord by hand, ....lots less testing and development for you that way.

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Aesquire View Post
    Sometimes you see this wad hit the end of the lines, stop dead, and thud to the ground. That one needed a repack.

    See if the rubber bands have fused the canopy shut.
    The fused rubber bands makes sense, if there are rubber bands in a 6 yr or 10 yr BRS the re-pack times makes perfect sense, and one would be a fool to push them, except I still do not understand why one is 6 and the other 10. Being exposed to the weather also makes sense, except one would think if weather was an issue 6 yr in the snow and rain is a real long time.

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    SECOND CHANTZ with airpressured rocket is very interesting=permanent controll,
    no risk with pirotechnik!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    BTW=it is possible to decrease landing velocity allmost to ZERO m/sec !!!

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    "why one is 6 and the other 10"

    My speculation is that the 10 year canopy is in a bag inside a sealed box in an airplane, maybe in a hanger. The Ultralight one is in a bag strapped to an air frame, that may or may not be inside anything at all that may be in a hanger, or a trailer, or a garage, or under a tarp in the backyard.

    You can ruin a nylon parachute many ways. Heat, UV, mildew, etc. Storing one in the garage next to the gas can for the lawnmower? Trunk of the black car in SoCal? Sitting on top of the wing under the "carport" at the desert airport?

    I bet they assume a Cirrus owner spends more for storage than an ultralight owner spent on his airplane.

    Cargo chutes for whole plane recovery? Might work fine. Are you going to drop test your plane from an Amazon Blimp with remote activation or do the test flying yourself? You've got 2 planes so you can throw away one in testing, right? Or are you just going to hang 70 pounds in your plane in the hopes that it will actually do you some good? I don't want to be discouraging, but even free parachutes can be very costly when you count the air frame you need to throw away to make sure it works. Second Chantz & the other reputable makers of whole plane chutes spent a lot of money including buying an airplane or 3 to throw away.

    and.... Much of my skydiving experience is with WW2 surplus round parachutes. They Usually work. That's why skydivers carry 2. ( or if a factory test pilot, testing a new chute, 3.... don't laugh, I've seen it )

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    [QUOTE=Aesquire;364373]"why one is 6 and the other 10"

    Cargo chutes for whole plane recovery? Might work fine. Are you going to drop test your plane from an Amazon Blimp with remote activation or do the test flying yourself? You've got 2 planes so you can throw away one in testing, right? Or are you just going to hang 70 pounds in your plane in the hopes that it will actually do you some good? I don't want to be discouraging, but even free parachutes can be very costly when you count the air frame you need to throw away to make sure it works. "

    Thanks for the comments...points to ponder. However, the military does spend lot of $ making sure things work right before those things are deployed (with some notable exceptions, true). So, for the basic specs, it does not worry me.Those boys have been tossing things out of airplanes for many years, and they (and the ground pounders waiting for the gear) tend to get a bit miffed when your ammo and rations are converted into a deep hole in the ground. Not recommending anyone try it, if I can get a chute cheap, I may try to figure out some way to use it. Worst case, I have a neat parachute cover for a campsite or something. As long as it is just me, that is one thing. My insurance policy is the only thing my wife worries about anyway. So I may try it.

    Derswede

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    I've looked at the cost of far103 ballistic chutes and choked a bit. Frankly something that is only 3 figures to buy, will probably work and that I'm unlikely to use is a lot more appealing. How much do those cargo 'chutes weigh?

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft


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